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Forte ii project report Forte ii project report Document Transcript

  • FORTE II PROJECT Fostering Responsible Tourism in European Higher Education Organized by: Supported by: Hosted by:
  • CONTENTS Introduction .....................................................................................................................................4 Research objectives ......................................................................................................................... 5 Methodology ...................................................................................................................................6 Country introduction........................................................................................................................ 7 Belgium........................................................................................................................................ 7 The Netherlands .......................................................................................................................... 7 Lithuania ...................................................................................................................................... 7 Finland .........................................................................................................................................8 Conclusions......................................................................................................................................9 Operational Management ............................................................................................................9 Waste management ................................................................................................................ 9 Purchasing management ....................................................................................................... 10 Catering ................................................................................................................................. 10 Energy .................................................................................................................................... 10 Maintenance .......................................................................................................................... 11 Housekeeping ........................................................................................................................ 11 Marketing and logistics .............................................................................................................. 12 Business communication............................................................................................................ 14 Future trends ............................................................................................................................. 16 Future trends in customer care ............................................................................................... 16 New ways to work .................................................................................................................. 17 Certifications .......................................................................................................................... 18 Current certifications..............................................................................................................19 Sustainable development ...................................................................................................... 20 IMPACT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ..................................................................... 20 2
  • IMPACT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ...................................................................... 21 Social and ethical responsibilities ........................................................................................... 23 Recommendations .........................................................................................................................24 operational management...........................................................................................................24 Implement the use of ecological bath products ..................................................................... 24 Sustainable Customer Loyalty Program ................................................................................ 24 Use of wastewater ................................................................................................................. 24 business communication ............................................................................................................ 25 Suppliers ................................................................................................................................25 Local community....................................................................................................................25 Customers ............................................................................................................................. 26 Government .......................................................................................................................... 26 Employees ............................................................................................................................ 26 Shareholders .......................................................................................................................... 27 marketing & sales.......................................................................................................................29 Contest “Think green, Act green, Be green” .......................................................................... 29 Using Fair Trade, local - and ecological products ................................................................... 29 future trends in hospitality management ................................................................................... 30 Sources .......................................................................................................................................... 32 3
  • INTRODUCTION The FORTE IP II is a part of Erasmus intensive program, which is funded by the European Union. The project should have started on 19th of April 2010, but due the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland the project was delayed till 23rd of April. The project took place in Turku University of Applied Sciences. The objective of FORTE IP II is to go deeply into Responsible Tourism. The focus of this IP is on Hospitality Management and the approach "Innovation and creativity: Future trends in responsible Hospitality Management". This year the participating countries in Finland where: Belgium, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain. Unfortunately the Spanish team was not able to come. During this project each international team had a different subject related to sustainability. The different topics were: Business Communication, Future Trends in Hospitality Management, Operational Management, Human Resources and Marketing & Logistics. Due to the fact that the Spanish team was not able to come and their speciality was Human Resources the information will not be included in this final report. The purpose of the project was to find out what the sustainability level in three major hotel chains in Europe were as well as in some smaller hotels and come up with recommendations for the hotels to work more sustainable. The three major hotel chains were Best western, Accor Group and Hilton. The recommendations can be found in this report together with the main conclusions per topic. 4
  • RESEARCH OBJECTIVES During this report we want to research the sustainability in the three mentioned major hotel chains in Europe and the influence of sustainability on the smaller hotels. In order to come up with our research results we have to give a clear definition of our research objectives. This will lead us to the following objectives we want to meet; - To study in an international environment and discuss the different issues. - To share the experience during our preparation of the project. - To research the impact of sustainability on the five different departments. - To research the actions and systems the hotels have implemented in order to become more sustainable for both small and big sized hotels. - To research the actions and systems the hotels still can be implemented in order to become more sustainable for both small and big sized hotels. - To analyze the results from our questionnaires. - To analyze the differences between both small and big sized hotels. - To come up with recommendations for both small and big sized hotels to become more sustainable. This crucial part will function as the basis and guideline during the writing of our report. 5
  • METHODOLOGY The research can be divided into two main streams: primary and secondary research. Our research is based on both streams. The primary research provides operational information, and gives more insight in daily operations of the hotels; secondary research helped us to check which information about sustainability of the hotels is already provided. Exploratory research has been conducted. The result of exploratory research provides significant insight into a given situation, and allows gaining a deeper understanding of an issue. In this case sustainability of hotels in Belgium, Finland, Lithuania, and The Netherlands was under research. The focus was on the quality rather than quantity, therefore we conducted qualitative research through in-depth interviewing and discussions with management. Face to face and telephone interviews were conducted with the managers of the hotels in order to find out how sustainable the organizations are in this sector, and what they are actually doing to be environmentally friendly entities. Self-administered questionnaire has been used with 33 open questions, where interviewee had possibility to freely talk about their approach to sustainability. For the secondary research mainly internet has been used. All results were discussed in international groups, comparison has been made and final conclusions and recommendations have been made. 6
  • COUNTRY INTRODUCTION BELGIUM Belgium is a small, highly developed and densely populated country with 10,5 million inhabitants. Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Community, and the capital of Belgium, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union. It is a federal state, with 3 relatively autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, where the language is Dutch ("Flemish"), Wallonia in the south, where the language is French, and the centrally located Brussels, which is officially bilingual. There is also a minority of German-speakers. The tourist industry generates 2.8% of Belgium's Gross Domestic Product and employs 3.3% of the working population (142,000 people). Almost 7 million people come to visit Belgium every year. Two thirds of them come from France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. THE NETHERLANDS The Netherlands is situated in the middle of North-West Europe. The country has a total population of 16.5 million people. Geographically the majority of The Netherlands is lying below sea level, were 21% of the population is living. The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces and Amsterdam is the capital. Tourism is an important economic sector in the Netherlands. The country receives every year some 10 million foreign visitors, primarily from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Belgium. About 8.5 million Dutch people spend their holiday in their home country every year, while 13.5 million go abroad. LITHUANIA Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the most southern country of the three Baltic states. It shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest. Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden and Denmark. Lithuania has got a total population of 3.32 million. Vilnius is the capital and largest city of the country. Lithuania experiences a constant increase of foreign visitors mostly from Russia, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Finland. More than half of the 2.2 million visitors were staying in the capital of Lithuania. 7
  • FINLAND Finland is a Scandinavian country, and is the seventh largest country in Europe. Sweden is to the west, the tip of Norway is in the north, and in the east is the border with Russia. Estonia is to the south across a sea called the Gulf of Finland. Finland is divided up into 12 provinces with over 50% of the population living in the five most southern provinces. Finland's major cities and towns are Helsinki (capital), Espoo, Tampere, Turku and Vantaa. The Total population is estimated 5,350,000 people. The two official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish, with approximately 5% of the population speaking Swedish. English is also taught at all public schools. With its cold, long winter, Finland's tourism increases in the summer. Finland attracts over 4 million tourists, with most coming from Sweden. The value added by tourism is about 2.4% of the Finnish GDP, and provides around 60,000 jobs 8
  • CONCLUSIONS OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT Operational management is mainly focused on managing the processes to produce and distribute product and services. It’s a hotels systematic direction that converts inputs (in the form of materials, labors and energy) into outputs (finished products). It concerns each step in providing a service or product. The nature of how operational management is carried out depends very much on the branch of industry and we have researched operational management in the hospitality sector. Our main concerns were following 6 topics: housekeeping, catering, maintenance, energy, waste management and purchasing. We consider these topics to be the critical activities in the operational department of a hotel because the impact of sustainability is very high on these topics. This report will give you an understanding of how hotels implement sustainability in these activities and which concrete actions are being taken. WASTE MANAGEMENT Waste management is a part of hotel’s sustainability. It should be integrated into hotel’s operations as a whole. Waste management isn’t just separating waste; it should be comprehensive approach to different aspects of sustainability in all sections of a hotel. Waste management should be integrated also in training of staff to motivate them to be involved in the promoting process. It’s important to develop sustainability and the waste management because of the rising amounts of waste. Integration of waste management requires also co-operation with stakeholders (Moczygemba & Smaka-Kincl 2007). The results show that every hotel of the research recycles at some level but there’s still a lot to develop. There are some regulations from the government, at least in Finland, how the recycling is supposed to do. There are also instructions from some hotel chains about recycling, at least if the chain or the hotel has received some eco-label. Receiving eco-label helps to develop hotel’s recycling issues and sustainability as whole because of the criteria of the eco-label programme. The results also showed that labelled hotels have more developed waste management. They have to meet the requirements in order to receive an eco-label. Some hotels have given the possibility for their clients to promote sustainability during their stay, e.g. providing sorting bins in every hotel room. Another result is that part of the hotels are training their staff to be more eco-friendly. Staff have to be careful with printing paper and should print double in order to reduce waste. Incoherence of some of the answers shows that not all the hotels have invested in waste management. It should be part of decision making when thinking about sustainability. Some hotels mentioned to recycle only at certain departments of the hotel. As a result of all the hotels the level of impact of sustainability in relation to the total cost was average, the answers being between high and very low. Still not all the hotels were satisfied about the way all operations are 9
  • handled at this moment. Some of the hotels would like to develop many aspects of sustainability like recycling and saving energy by installing solar panels. PURCHASING MANAGEMENT Purchasing is the acquisition of goods and services needed to support the various activities of the hotel, at the optimum cost and from reliable suppliers. Purchasing involves negotiating terms for price, quantity, and delivery, agreeing contracts and placing orders. Purchasing also includes receiving and accepting delivery and authorizing the payment for goods and services. (Opic AB 2010) The main part mentioned that sustainability has a lot of impact of the purchasing process. On purchase matters, the hotels are overall trying to use sustainable and long-lasting materials as long as the price-quality ratio is making it profitable in the long run. At some of the hotel chains the decisions of the contracts are usually made by the hotel chain. Some of the hotels try to collaborate as much as possible with the companies in the direct environment, so that purchases happen on a larger scale. Smaller hotels usually don’t have enough money to make bigger investments concerning sustainability. Some of the hotels invest in the local community and contribute some local events as well as buys local food. The purchasing policy of big hotels is usually determined by hotel chains. Other hotels try to contact local companies for smaller purchases, in order to stimulate the local economy. Most of the hotels also try to concentrate their purchases to a single producer or provider. CATERING Catering is part of the operational department of a hotel in several ways. It is mainly food & beverage in the restaurant, the bars but also room service. The main part of the restaurant’s food & beverage services is the breakfast served to the clients. Furthermore, food and beverages are served in the ‘meeting & conferences’ activities in the hotel. The use of single-packed products (for example during breakfast) is decreasing as more hotels are developing their waste management. A remark is that the trend is less common in the luxury hotel brands as customer’s expectations are different. An upcoming trend in all participating countries is the use of biological products. With the use of biological products the awareness on the origin of products increases. Hotels are investigating the possibilities of purchasing their products locally. A lot of hotels state that they try to buy their products in the local environment as much as possible. ENERGY Energy is an important aspect of a policy on sustainability. An energy policy includes clear guidelines on how to reduce the energy consumption. It affects various departments of a hotel and it combines sustainable- and cost reducing aspects. 10
  • In general each hotel has developed its own policy on the use of energy. The actions each hotel has primarily implemented are the use of energy saving lights and movement detecting lights in public areas. The use of LED-lights isn’t equally developed as energy saving lighting, but more and more hotels are going into this direction. In the Netherlands 9% of the interviewed hotels uses LED- lights in relation to 64% that uses energy saving lights. The implementation of ‘key card programs’ comes back in most hotels. This application makes sure that there is no energy used if nobody is in the room. Hotels also implement smaller actions on the work floor such as turning off those devices that aren’t used at that time. Green energy is still a new concept to most hotels. In the Netherlands 27% of the interviewed hotels is using green energy. The hotels in the other countries didn’t mention that they use green energy, but research is being done on alternative ways to produce energy, e.g. solar panels. Our conclusion is that energy is the most important and the most developed part of operational management. Reducing energy is part of each hotel’s policy in different ways. MAINTENANCE Maintenance is an important aspect of operational management; it involves equipment and facilities that hotels need in order to be able to provide its goods and services. Combining sustainability in maintenance is an investment in the corporate and sustainable well being of a hotel. It could also be considered as a practice of quality control. By optimizing your maintenance procedure and its efficiency the hotel also reduces its energy consumption and its water consumption. A general conclusion is that most hotels know the benefits of sustainable maintenance products and are using environmental friendly products as much as possible. In the Netherlands a lot of attention goes to the use of biogradable products. In low seasons it’s a common procedure to close an entire wing, which reduces the maintenance needed for that wing as well as the energy and heating consumption. Overall, the hotels use energy reducing lamps which also require less maintenance. Some hotels even go further by implementing the use of LED-lamps throughout the whole hotel. Implemented control systems on air-conditioning, heating and water are often used, e.g. water saving showers and air conditioning control systems. In some hotels the maintenance department is outsourced. If that is the case in Finland, many hotels take the sustainable level of the maintenance company into account. HOUSEKEEPING In this subchapter we will compare the research results regarding sustainability in the housekeeping department of the different countries. Housekeeping is the department that takes care of the cleaning process of the hotel. The importance of sustainability for this department is growing. Hotels have a lot of waste of the bathroom products in the hotel rooms and they are 11
  • paying more and more attention to reduce this. During our research we found out that more hotels are using both local and ecological products. There are a lot of similarities between the Dutch and Finnish hotel chains. Almost all of the interviewed hotels use some sustainable products. Most of the products are fair trade or recyclable. Another important aspect is the awareness of the customer. Nowadays, hotels ask their customers to behave more sustainable. Some of the hotels have special signs to create awareness of the consumers, they ask them to use the towel more than once and only let the room be cleaned if it is really necessary. Even one hotel chain in the Netherlands shows calculations of the average energy use in a hotel room. Also important to mention is the use of ecological cleaning products. They are less toxic than common cleaning products. Especially big sized hotel chains use a lot of cleaning products per day and it is important to make a difference. MARKETING AND LOGISTICS Marketing is a social and managerial process by which people and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. Marketing is actually everything what you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers. It includes for example diverse disciplines like sales, public relations, pricing, packaging, and distribution. Marketing is also the strategy for allocating resources (time and money) in order to achieve your objectives (make profit and give a good service). Logistics is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods. It is the control of the services and related information from origin to consumption to satisfy the customer. Logistics involves for example the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material-handling, packaging, and occasionally security. Logistics is important because it is the channel of the supply chain which adds the value of time and place utility. In general, hotels in Europe are not really focusing on sustainability. Sustainability in the marketing strategy is not their main focus, but at the other hand CSR is growing. The road to sustainability is just starting. However some hotel chains (for example Accor Group) are more advanced in the topic of sustainability, they started to invest their funds in special events like ‘Earth hour’ and ‘Fight against Aids’. Considering that the price is an important factor in the marketing strategy, sustainability will increase overall costs which will result in higher prices. However when looking at the long-term perspective, prices will decrease because of the lower energy- and water consumption rates. At this very moment, you can not see any price difference between sustainable and unsustainable 12
  • hotels. Prices are influenced by factors like: location, events and season. For example, when events, like concerts, conferences and fairs are organised in the city, the occupancy in hotels will increase, which influences the prices. High season differs per region. High season in a ski resort is not like a high season in a beach resort. In both cases, hotels will increase their prices because they know, they will be fully booked anyway. Another important factor is location, if a hotel is located in the city centre, customers and employees are more tending to use public transport in stead of their own transportation. This will decrease the Co2 emissions. More hotels promote using public transportation and other alternatives, rather than their own car. The local community appreciates the fact that the hotel pays attention to its surroundings. Traditionally, hotels didn’t care about how their produced services affected the environment. Nowadays, hotel services are more aware of the impact of sustainability. Sustainability within services is still in the early stages of development. Like mentioned above, ‘Earth Hour’ and ‘Fight against Aids’ are tools for marketing strategy. The question is if the hotel really wants to be sustainable or is it just a marketing strategy? When looking at the physical evidence we found out that all of the hotels are implementing small adjustments such as energy and water saving. For example there are lots of hotels in Europe that have the Green-key eco label or are trying to get it. The Green Key® is a worldwide available eco-label awarded to hospitality organizations, such as hotels, youth hostels, conference- and holiday centers, campsites, holiday houses and leisure facilities. Organizations need to comply with certain rules and regulations before being able to receive the green key award. http://www.green-key.org/ To maintain the sustainability level, hotels often invest in making customers and staff members more aware about the growing importance of sustainability. For example in the Netherlands, ‘Van der Valk’ chain added a specific calculation card on the doors of the rooms where the clients can see the calculated footprint of the actions they require to maximize the comfort of they stay. When looking at the logistical aspects in the questionnaires, we discovered that in most of the hotels, all logistical aspects are affected by sustainability. The way the logistical aspects are influenced, are mainly cost and distance related. Most of the hotels are using local services, shorter distances, and are promoting the use of public transport to decrease the pollution. The selections of logistical partners within the big hotels were mostly chosen by headquarters, which were largely selecting green partners. Selection of these green partners is generating significantly higher costs than when using normal partners. Costs are not only affected in a negative way, because by using the local (closer proximity) partners, the cost for transportation will go down due to shorter distances. 13
  • BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Business communication is communication in the form of oral, verbal or written messages between the people in organization for the purpose of carrying out business functions. (River Plate Inc). It is used for building partnerships and intellectual resources, for promoting ideas with the objective of creating value for business. (Aldona Vosyliūtė, April 26, 2010) Intercultural communication is an important form of interaction which has been practiced for as long as people from different cultures have encountered one another. Intercultural contacts are now a normal phenomenon for most people, and cultural diversity is a fact of life. During the past 40 years there has been a serious and systematic study of the dynamics of intercultural communication. Cultural diversity is now recognized as a crucial factor when the communication process involves people from different cultures. There are two kinds of business communication: external and internal. In the external communication information is shared between the organization and the environment. The forms of the external communication are e.g. advertising, submitting orders and providing data and reports of the activities to other organizations and government bodies. The goal of external communication is to create a better image by sharing information, retain old customers and to get new ones (Aldona Vosyliūtė, April 26, 2010). External business communication is e.g.: - Branding - Marketing - Advertising - Customer relations - Public relations - Media relations - Business negotiations. Internal communication is a part of effective business communication, which is built around a simple foundation: communication is a dialogue, not a monologue. In fact, communication is a dual listening process. Internal Communication, in a business context, is a dialogic process between the employees and employer of the organization, and also among the employees themselves. Internal communication is meant to create a better atmosphere to the work place which also increases productivity. Internal communication is e.g.: - Communication of the corporate vision - Strategies - Plans - Corporate culture, shared values and guiding principles - Employees motivation 14
  • RESEARCH FINDINGS In Europe, the hotels use business communication mostly with shareholders, customers and employees. A lot of hotels thought competitors as one of their stakeholders also. If sustainability is a topic of discussion with the stakeholders, it can be concluded that it is similar in the majority of the countries we researched, except in Belgium. In Belgium the level of discussion among stakeholders is very low but it doesn’t mean that these hotels would not be green. Different stakeholders of the company, original figure from Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd. Shareholders and hotel managers are especially discussing about future strategies, energy and water savings and about waste management for making more profit and for being green. For hotels it is very important that suppliers do not use single-packaged products and try to concentrate on using more biological and environmentally friendly products. Companies try to decrease the CO² emissions by paying attention to the distances in the logistical area. In addition the products have to live up to the high quality standards, meaning the green standards. The aspects that are discussed with governments are mainly legislations and regulations. Within the most countries‘ programs concerning sustainability, training and discussions are the most crucial parts for employees. These actions help the employees to really understand what sustainability stands for and it should be included already in the orientation programme. The hotels are communicating with customers through different kinds of labels, brochures and by promoting more sustainable activities. Those activities could be e.g. discounts for customers who are supporting the values of sustainability during their stay at the hotel. The hotels can provide discounts to customers who don‘t want their sheets and towels to be changed everyday. The feedback that hotels receive comes mainly from the customers. In relation to all guests there is a small percentage that spontaneously comments on the services of the hotel and also the level of green development. Usually the customers don‘t give much feedback unless they are not satisfied with the services. The situation is similar with other stakeholders too. 15
  • In the majority of the hotels business communication is related to sustainability. If there would be more green actions, we would also increase our communication towards our stakeholders. The hotels are discussing sustainability as a part of their business communication. The level of discussion would increase if there were more green actions within all of the stakeholders. These actions could be e.g. thinking about the distances and driving with a full car when supplying products. We can summarize that there is always room for improvement since this topic is an ongoing process because of new technical developments and findings. Within the hotel business there is also a lot to improve because all the hotels don‘t even have a green policy in their strategy yet. However, their awareness is increasing and they are developing towards a more ecological and responsible attitude. FUTURE TRENDS Future trends in sustainable tourism, was one of the topics of the questionnaire which was conducted by our project group. Through the questionnaire we wanted to find out information about how the hotels implement sustainability and the level of awareness and their willingness to change. We also wanted to find out how the future trends affect the hotels and in which way the hotels are complying with these. In this chapter we will be dealing with the most important aspects that we found out trough the answers of the questionnaire. To conclude we want to give some facts, results and recommendations about how to execute them in practice. The topics we will present in this section are: - Customer care - New ways to work - Certifications - Sustainable development - Government and business - Social and ethical responsibilities FUTURE TRENDS IN CUSTOMER CARE The future trend for customer care won’t change that much, but the level of customer orientation will increase at that level that the personal knowledge about your individual customers will be essential. Keeping a track of the trends in your country and around the globe is a necessity if you want to compete within your province and be able to meet the growing needs of your customers. Your services and products should keep your customers happy but they should also be profitable. If you look at the things in a future’s point of view, we are constantly going to a more and more 16
  • sustainable way of thinking. As a result the customers will also be a lot more demanding whether sustainability is implemented or not. Companies will need to plan carefully their products and services to meet the needs of the future customer. As customers’ knowledge will be greater, they will start demanding products which need to answer to their needs. To stay one step ahead, you will need to look carefully at what is happening now and to forecast the future, which trends we have now and which trends are about to emerge. You need to be able to predict which trend the customers would prefer. Some of the future sights already predict a demand for green values as well as for example meeting facilities. As a conclusion, sustainable thinking or green thinking is a hot topic. The consciousness is increasing and it is already a widespread subject for everyone in the field of hospitality management, so it would be reasonable to start implementing sustainability in your company. NEW WAYS TO WORK The current trend in organizations is “Fast work”. Multitasking is very common nowadays and people want the work to be done as quickly as possible, so they don´t lose any of their valuable time. But we see a trend coming called “Slow work”. With this trend the companies want to give their staff more time to think about their work and to come up with better solutions. For example: Google encourages key staff to devote a fifth of their working hours to their own projects: no targets, no timetables, just the time and space to think deeply, and to reflect rather than react. Another example from “Slow work” comes from the company IBM. They have launched a Slow Email movement to help their staff being happier and more productive by checking their inbox less often. We can divide the working environment into three different spaces. The first working environment space is the physical space, which means the buildings and the actual work places. We can see that the workplaces are becoming more ergonomic and that they are providing more places to relax, for example meditation suites, chill-out rooms and napping pods. The workplace will become a second home to the employees and they can personalize it. The second working environment space is the virtual one. The trend of virtuality and digitalization- technology is already present, but still growing. For checking-in at the hotels they can for example implement an E-reception where the receptionist is displayed on a screen and monitored at three reception desks, so he or she can deal with more customers in a shorter time. The hotels can also use a self check-in desk where the guest checks himself in with his reservation number. The advantage of these new check-in techniques is that it saves a lot of valuable time and payroll. Instead of asking the customer 20 questions during the check-in, they can ask the guest his e-mail address and approval of sending him e-mails for promotions. They can also enquire him about his experiences of his stay and get to know more about his interests. They can personalize his stay with for example projections on the wall or on the TV. For video conference in meetings, the hotels could provide a round table camera, which always focuses on the person who is talking. 17
  • Other trends concerning the employees are fingerprints, voice recognition or eye print. These are mainly used for security reasons. The third working environment space is the social one. The future trends are already present, if we look at the current situation where people are getting used to work in a less social environment. The reason why people are working more and more from home nowadays. As a result, we get less personal contact. On the other hand, the facilities of working with more people at the same time give the opportunity to work on a team basic, which results in a knowledge increase. Another upcoming trend will be the Second life. Lots of people are earning a lot of money in this world and the avatar phenomenon is getting lots of attention. It looks like a game but in reality people are getting together and leading their lives online. Daytime building cleaning is one of the newest services for the future in hospitality management. This new facility has lots of advantages. One of the main reasons to do so is because of the possibility to control your staff and it also saves energy because you don’t have to turn on the lights. The security systems will improve, since the staff doesn’t have to work at night in an empty building. Routines and practices are able to be adapted to meet the building usage. Staff could communicate better with the employees in the building. Daytime building cleaning has also disadvantages. It is more difficult to find staff for the daytime, because the night time cleaning was a second job for most of the staff personnel. It can be difficult for the staff to complete their tasks, because other employees can interrupt them to do something that is not part of their job. CERTIFICATIONS In order to understand the importance of certifications in the future of tourism industry, we need to explain the definition of certification in the tourism industry context: “A validation to tourist and tourism intermediaries that the tourism providers hold on to a specific set of standards and indicators of sustainable practices.” Certifications are getting more common within tourism industry in the future. Pressure from customers to change operations to more sustainable ones, makes hotels strive for eco- labels. The significance of eco-labels will increase because eco-labels create more reliability to the companies. Certified activities are seen to be crucial competitive advantage. Many of the interviewed hotels either already have certifications or will apply for one in the future. Certifications will be an important key in the development of future sustainable hospitality. In the tourist industry the certifications will measure the quality and sustainability for the entire industry and the ecotourism. The importance of certifications in the tourism industry: - It sets standards and help distinguish ecotourism and sustainable tourism from other businesses that make false claims. 18
  • - It can be used to motivate this industry to improve their environmental, social and economic performance. It benefits the certified companies: - By improving their performance by acting more sustainable - The reduction of operational costs - Easier access to technical assistance and financing for new technology and innovation - Gaining marketing advantages - Good publicity - Adding value to the product or service It benefits the consumers: - The knowledge of which companies are really sustainable, social and environmental friendly - Awareness of responsible business practices - Awareness to consumers to act more responsibly and contribute to sustainability - Consumers can get better quality of the product or service It benefits the government: - Protection of sustainable and ecotourism destinations - Better industry standards - Reduction of regulatory costs of environmental protection - Reduction of poverty, especially in rural areas It benefits the environment and local communities: - Protection of the environment and reduction of damage - Respect local culture - Reduction of poverty CURRENT CERTIFICATIONS There are many certifications worldwide, but there are only a few that are international. The rest operates regional, but the majority operates on national or local level. The most important certifications which operate on the international level are Green Globe 21, Earth Check, TIES and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems. GREEN GLOBE The Green Globe standards includes sustainable operations and management, commitment to the environment, better environment performance, improved Corporate Social Responsibility and a high visibility in the market 19
  • EARTH CHECK The Earth Check enables organizations to track and measure resource use and waste output, enhance design and operational efficiencies and encourage Corporate Social Responsibility. THE INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM SOCIETY The TIES standards includes the minimalization of impacts, build environmental and cultural awareness and respect, provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts, provide direct financial benefits for conservation, provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people, and raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate. ISO 14001 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS The EMS standards enable organizations to identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services, to improve its environmental performance continually, to implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets and to achieving these and to demonstrating that they have been achieved. FUTURE It is expected that there will be more certifications in the future. But organizations are focusing on building one global standard and global brand. They want to create one framework of criteria and procedures and an easily recognized logo that would assure all users that member certification programs meet internationally accepted standard of sustainable tourism. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Sustainable development has a really broad explanation, the most suitable for the tourism industry is: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. IMPACT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT We will give the importance of sustainable development in the future per stakeholder. We will focus on the tourism industry. 20
  • IMPACT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT We will give the importance of sustainable development in the future per stakeholder. We will focus on the tourism industry. SHAREHOLDERS Customers are demanding more sustainability, especially in the tourism industry. Because of that, the companies must implement or use global standard of sustainability. The awareness and implementation of the sustainability trends will bring more profit for the shareholders. Besides the economical benefits for the shareholders, there are also social benefits. Shareholders are more aware of sustainability and will also try to act greener. SUPPLIERS Companies are going to act more sustainable and will only work with partners that have the same standards for sustainability. For example; travel agencies will only book with sustainable hotels for their customers. GOVERNMENT The impacts of future sustainable development on the government are: better protection and control of sustainable and ecotourism destinations. If the industry acts more sustainable it might reduce the poverty level. With the certifications development the government knows that the industry has better standards and it will also reduce the regulatory costs of for example environmental protection. EMPLOYEES The impact of the future trends on the employees in the tourism industry is high. To give bette r service to the consumers, they will have to be more aware of sustainability and be properly trained. If we create awareness among them we can lead them to act more sustainable and be more conscious on the work floor. CUSTOMERS Sustainability also affects the consumer behavior. The customers have become more conscious about sustainability and their motto of “doing what seems right” will be the way of thinking in the future. The increasing awareness of the customers will also be reflected on companies. Service providers will need to adjust to the fact that the lay public will be giving them a lot more pressure when it comes to sustainability and green thinking. 21
  • LOCAL ENVIRONMENT The impacts of the future trends of sustainability are very high on the local environment. The consumers in the tourism industry will act more sustainable and respect the local environment. Rural tourism is one growing trend which is the most important in this field. The rural tourism can reduce poverty in the local environment by creating more jobs for the local people. If one company in the environment uses the sustainable standards, other companies will follow these trends. Besides companies, the locals are being more aware of this, and will also act more sustainable. GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS In a healthy sustainable environment the government should work together with the businesses and the population to make sustainability an accepted and normal subject in the political economical and social agenda. The trend in the future for the governments will be in form of a common law. If the government keeps its passive way of working on this problematic subject, things will never change. At this moment different organizations are forcing the government to include sustainability in the agenda and do something about it. The government needs to work together with the companies, to reach a desirable result. We cannot work inside the company while outside nothing have changed or vice versa. In the business world the things are already changing, people are looking for alternative ways of travelling and sometimes the reason for that is not even sustainability but often, a lack of time. The buildings are no longer needed and the ones to come will be built in a sustainable way. A new business culture will arise and the utilization of resources will be optimized. When it comes to corporate level, the companies have become more careful with their activities, this is cause by the dramatic change of the consumer’s behavior. The image of a company against sustainability is of vital importance for the clients, the consumers and the suppliers. Nowadays and even more in the future, the companies will look for sustainable partners. Companies want to verify that the whole product chain occurs in a proper manner and they make sure that the consumer, clients and suppliers notice that. For example: a hotel that has to choose his catering or a company that need to hold a congress and need a congress room in a hotel. The hotel need to make sure that the catering company has a sustainable way of preparing their food. No hotel manager wants his hotel to be involved with, for example a catering company where only illegal immigrants work. On the other hand the company holding the congress need to rely on the service of the hotel and make sure that no image damage will take place. Thanks to the ethical issue, the need for more development will emerge, the knowhow will increase and with these, the production will be more efficient and the prices per unity product and services will decrease as consequence of this. This process will take some time, so at the beginning the 22
  • investment will exceed the revenue but the customer is willing to pay a bit more in order to be sustainable and so the enterprises are willing to invest more in order to keep the customer satisfaction. SOCIAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES When it comes to sustainable tourism you might think that you only have to deal with a corporate level. But sustainability goes further than that. It has become a problem of morality and ethics, so the question is why we have just started caring about that. The answer is simple and present in the future trends. People are changing and their needs too, since one of the people needs is to feel ethically correct. Sustainability is becoming a big issue in the society. But a long time ago in 1950, Carroll’s Four came up with an idea and that was the CSR pyramid. Picture: http://www.csrquest.net He described his own model as model that encompasses the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary (philanthropic) expectations that society has of organizations at a given point in time. So he classified time as an important aspect. People feel more and more responsible for the damages they cause to the world and they also start to demand sustainable products. The trend will be that in the future, all the services, products, methods, work environment and companies will be sustainable in general. The social pressure will be so hard that if you don’t buy or produce sustainable products, your company won’t make it and you as an individual will be socially unstable. Sustainability is no longer the impact of a company’s actions on society, but also the impact society can have on the company’s activities and from there to the world. 23
  • RECOMMENDATIONS OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT IMPLEMENT THE USE OF ECOLOGICAL BATH PRODUCTS Our recommendations on the topic of maintenance for the small hotels are to switch to ecological bath products. Ecological bath products are usually more expensive than other bath products but it is a valuable investment. However, ecological bath products are one of the most visible actions for the consumer and will be good for the reputation. We have seen that almost all of the big chain hotels use already the ecological bath products. Smaller hotels can purchase their products in the local environment. This will require less delivery transport and will stimulate the trade in the local environment. The benefits for the hotel are to be different from competition and can be used as a marketing tool. SUSTAINABLE CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM Our second recommendation for big hotels is the implementation of a sustainable customer loyalty program. The shower and light switches are connected to the keycard of the consumer. All the details about the use of water and electricity are connected to the keycard. This keycard will register the entire stay of the costumer and at the checkout it is visible how much energy and water is consumed and saved. Consumers who are using less than average will receive credits. With these credits the customer can choose a discount or a present from the hotel. All of the hotels are using a general software system to register everything of the consumers in the rooms. The housekeeping department can insert whether the consumer lets the room being cleaned and if towels and sheets are renewed on a daily basis. The consumer can receive some extra credits for this sustainable behavior. To implement this, the hotel should calculate the average use of water and energy. The hotel has to decide how much credits they will provide to their consumers. It is a big investment in a big sized hotel but a lot of costs will be reduced if many consumers are willing to participate. We think that this customer loyalty system will attract more customers to the hotels. Regular guests can benefit from both the general program and the sustainable program. Besides the reduction of costs, water and energy, the hotel can also benefit to communicate this as a marketing tool. Smaller hotels can also implement this but should be more focused on creating awareness to both staff and consumer, as well as the cleaning process of the hotel. The key points in this sustainable customer loyalty program should be the reduction of laundry and waste. USE OF WASTEWATER Our third recommendation is the implementation of using wastewater to flush the toilets. The key point of this system is to reduce water from the shower and use it into the toilets. This system will 24
  • reduce about 80% of the water consumption in hotels. We came up with this idea because it already exists in a Dutch nightclub, the first sustainable nightclub of Europe. We think that hotels can also make use of this system but the investment is really expensive. We think that this system will work for hotels that have to be maintained or renovated. Hotels will definitely benefit from it because this system is really unique, especially for the hospitality industry. It will attract publicity and curious customers. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION We will give some recommendation to the hotels to improve communication concerning corporate social responsibility issues. Business communication is divided into two parts, internal and external. We will first giving recommendations about the internal business communication. The biggest problem among it is how you can make the information chain work as effective as possible and how to get the information from the manager to the employee level. External business communication includes all the stakeholders mentioned before and we‘re suggesting ways how to make the communication more effective. SUPPLIERS One of the biggest problems is that hotels do not have enough information about their suppliers. We suggest that hotels should pay more attention to the values and actions of their co-operation partners. Hotels could e.g. make a contract with the suppliers based on corporate social responsibility, meaning that the co-operation ends if the supplier doesn‘t follow the certain level of responsibility. This is easier within the bigger hotel chains because they generate more income to suppliers than the small ones. The smaller hotels could implement this e.g. by co-operating with other small hotels. Small hotels can unite and if the contract is broken, supplier may lose many hotels instead of one. It is also easier for the supplier to have many similar hotels as a partner and preferably on the same area. Hotels could choose the person who is responsible of the controlling of the suppliers. This can be chosen among the hotel managers or from an outside organization of green values if there are not enough resources. LOCAL COMMUNITY Usually the hotels do not communicate much with the local environment. They might have some regulations to follow and they might promote the events of the local community for the customers. We suggest that there could be more meetings with the community‘s decision-makers so that they know what is going on in the hotel business. 25
  • We also think it would be a good competitive advantage if the hotels promoted themselves somehow in local newspapers, so that the customers – and other hotels in the area - would think that they are “the sustainable hotel” of that certain community. This would make other hotels work even harder on sustainability issues. CUSTOMERS Communication with the customers is very important for a business. The customers are the ones that have direct contact with the service of the hotel; therefore sustainable initiatives should be communicated to them. Most of the hotels are informing their customers about their approach towards sustainability. They can find information e.g. in form of labels on the walls in the rooms or on the hotel’s website. Effective communication is always two-way process, which means that initiatives implemented in the hotel should be evaluated by the customers. Evaluation can be done in form of feedback. Nowadays technology provides a lot of opportunities for receiving sustainable feedback in form of digital questionnaires. This gives a great opportunity to receive the evaluation from the customer. This evaluation can positively influence operations of the hotels, because the managers can have a better insight in their perception about sustainable initiatives within their hotel, and even generate new ideas for the future. One of the obstacles could be customers’ responsiveness. In order to motivate them to fill in the questionnaire, gifts could be offered. Each hotel could decide how expensive the gift can be, it depends on the budget of the hotel. The gift could be sent via post or via email (e.g. voucher). Email could be a wiser option, because it is more sustainable way of receiving feedback, and does not generate cost. GOVERNMENT Communication with the governments (local authorities) is important because they create rules and regulations, moreover they can provide subsidies for the companies that positively contribute to the society and the environment. Big chains and small hotels which implement sustainable activities should regularly report their achievements to the governments. Moreover meetings should be organized with representatives of the governments. Big chain hotels could organize this kind of meetings, and invite small hotels so they can also explain their sustainable initiatives and achievements. EMPLOYEES The idea of sustainability should be communicated internally with the employees. From the research we concluded that business communication is mostly conducted with employees which mean that it is an important subject among the internal communication. 26
  • Whatever form it takes, the objective remains the same – to create a business value. It is important to take the green values seriously. It is not enough to replace bulbs, or save water. People must be aware of bad and good actions. As mentioned before, it is important to communicate with the staff. To reach maximum results the company must understand the needs of employees. One of the main goals for them is to have a good atmosphere at their working place. Due to the many levels of workers in bigger hotels the message can be interpretated differently. Operational workers are not so aware of sustainable initiatives at the moment therefore managers should create awareness among the employees and at the same time motivate them. First recommendation is to organize more training for the staff. After the possible trainings or meetings the hotels should also collect feedback from the employees to control the level of knowledge related to the sustainability. The bigger hotels could invest in a test programme from a company specialized in this kind of service. Even though it is more expensive option it pays back in a short period of time. The training could be arranged e.g. two times per month. For smaller hotels it is easier to use “face to face” research and it may be done even more often. After the data is collected, the hotel can see who is thinking sustainably and who is not. The best employee could get a motivating gift such as small amount of money, longer holidays, etc. This system could look like this schema below. Training Testing Promoting SHAREHOLDERS Shareholders are also one important partner to communicate with. The smaller hotels might not have to deal with this situation but for bigger hotels communicating is very important. Communicating about sustainability could happen through meetings and e-mails. The aim of these meetings is to create awareness of the fact that sustainability brings more profit. Profit is the major aspect for the shareholders so they must be also motivated. 27
  • The levels of internal communication 28
  • MARKETING & SALES CONTEST “THINK GREEN, ACT GREEN, BE GREEN” Hotels can organise a sustainable contest among employees. The idea is that different departments have to be as green as possible. They need to try being more sustainable by implementing small changes, for example the re-use of paper and other actions like this. The contest is held between all the departments. Each department will form a small group and have to point out a leader. How to start this contest? First, a list must be created with the most important items. For example: How often do they need to throw away their papers? How often do they need to change the light bulbs or the usage of the printer? Then, statistics need to be collected in order to start and to decide how many points the department will receive per period. With these statistics we mean: the use of water, use of energy, use of papers, etc. They are two ways of receiving points. The first one is to be sustainable in your way of working. The second one is by gathering as many ideas as possible on how to be more sustainable within the hotel by the employees or customers. The hotel will make a list of all the ideas and the best one will be implemented, although, for each idea, the team receives points. A goal must be set, but these goals will be different per department. For example, the front-office department is using the most number of papers from all the departments in the hotel. During the contest all the points will be showed on a crayon board and the intranet. This will motivate the staff members to act more sustainable. The object is that they have to collect as many points as possible and the winning department will receive a sustainable reward at the end of the year. The prizes could be a pick-nick, public transportation cards, eco-cheques, fair trade baskets, etc. People can use an eco-cheque for buying sustainable products like a vacuum cleaner, bio-products, re-usable batteries, water saving showers, all investments in products with an eco-label, etc. The prizes are meant for everyone within the winning department. A picture of the winning team can be placed on a public board and the intranet. USING FAIR TRADE, LOCAL - AND ECOLOGICAL PRODUCTS The basic idea is to use Fair-trade as much as possible. Usage of Fair-trade products helps to promote sustainability. Fair-trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fair-trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. Basically Fair-trade products are: fruits, coffee, chocolate, honey, cotton, wine and tea. The Fair-trade minimum price defines the lowest possible price that a buyer of Fair-trade products must pay the producer. The minimum price is set on a consultative process with 29
  • Fair-trade producers and traders and guarantees that producers will receive a price which covers the cost of sustainable production. When the market price is higher than the Fair-trade minimum price, the market price is payable. There are various different categories for Green ecological products to go under: organic certified, in general it means produced without pesticides or harmful fertilizes, a good choice for a green ecological product. Britannica defines it as the following "there's some variation: the National Organic Standards Board considers organic agriculture to be "an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony." The benefit of using Fair-trade products is that they have a low ecological footprint. Fair-trade also helps developing countries to promote their sustainability. Usually local products have the same price level or higher. They have a high value for sustainability because of the smaller transportation footprint and the benefits that the local communities get of the usage of local products. Using local products supports the community, gives it financial benefits and in a longer time line it will be able to add additional work places. The benefits of ecological products are basically environment friendly and the have a minimum ecological footprint. The use of such products is more expensive, but considering that it will help to preserve the planet for the future generations, the usage of ecological products is more beneficial than using just regular non-ecological products. From the marketing point of view the use of Fair-trade, local - and ecological products is very interesting because of the growing importance of sustainability all over the world. Implementing this recommendation strengthens the image of the hotel, as it is making the company more attractive for all of the stakeholders. On the logistic point of view there will be a difference for the ecological – and Fair-trade products because their price will increase due to the transportation. However, working with local partners will keep the prices of transportation steady or even decrease them. FUTURE TRENDS IN HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT It is a fact that big companies have more financial power and because of that we can expect more of them. It is also a fact that they influence the activities of the suppliers, competitors and the consumers. Because of this reason we are sure that the change has to start from the biggest organizations. The change needs to start at the basic and that will be the customer, staff and all the employees. Education will be the key word to create awareness. On this aspect the big chain hotels and the small ones don’t differ from each other. Trainings for the staff on this subject will become a trend 30
  • and they need to start training them to continuously improve their skills so they can keep record of the last trends. We need to create an international standard of sustainability, so all the organization use the same standard. International certifications like the ones we mentioned before under certifications will be the mediums to reach that goal. At a certain level it is important to create a kind of cooperation with the government that will have to impose this standard. The production chain needs to be followed form the beginning till the end to make sure that all the organizations involve work with sustainability principles. Working with sustainable partners is recommended and because of the trend will become at certain moment inevitable. Implementations need to be arranged since the businessman is going to make of their work places and hotels a second home. Taking care of them and their needs will be an essential part of the host industry. Providing them with all the needed tools will also contribute to create a sustainable behavior. Data bases of the costumer with their personal wishes will be required. Staying in hotels will be more common and people will see it as a second home. Digitalization will become more crucial. We recommend digitalization of buildings and processes. Reception (check-in at E-reception), electricity (key-cards), showers etc. have to work automatically. For the smaller organizations we would recommend that they join a local eco-label. It gives a good overview of various actions that the hotels can do to work more sustainably. Looking at the budget of the small chain hotels and the prices of the certifications, we recommend that they first begin using the national and regional certification. After receiving recognition and profit, they can use the international certifications. In the future it is expected that there will be one global standard and brand certification. Looking at the importance of the certification per shareholder in the tourism industry and the demands of the customers we recommend the small and big chains to implement this global certification. Looking at the fact that rural tourism is becoming more and more important in the development of sustainability, we recommend the small chains hotels to become part of this trend by choosing local partners and suppliers. This recommendation is also aimed at the big hotels chains, but it is limited. This is because of the fact that the big hotels chains operate from one headquarter that makes decisions for all the hotels of the chain. What we can recommend in the situation of the big chain hotel is that they should make the headquarters aware of the situation and force them to make more sustainable decision and also become part of the rural tourism trend. 31
  • SOURCES http://www.responsibletravel.org/resources/documents/reports/Ecotourism_Handbook_III.pdf http://www.synonym.com/synonyms/indicators/ http://www.earthcheck.org/ http://www.greenglobeint.com/ http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=1028822 http://ec3.zlab.com.au/editor/pdf/EarthCheck-Certified-collateral.pdf http://www.greenglobecertification.com/ http://216.64.209.164/responsibilities/stakeholder-engagement.html 32